Mobberley Round the Runway – race review

After the flurry of races a couple of months back it’s all been about the training since. Last night however, it was Wilmslow Running Club’s ‘Mobberley Round the Runway’ race.

Mobberley Round the Runway

If you didn’t know (and why would you), Mobberley is a village in a leafy part of Cheshire. It’s also on the doorstep of Manchester Airport. Thus, in the rolling landscape of Cheshire (who am I kidding – it’s flat!) the tranquillity of the moment is regularly broken as large jets drop out of the sky to land nearby!

Wilmslow Running Club have organised this small event annually. It is a (roughly) 5 mile course which follows the perimeter of the airport. It is multi-terrain, incorporating quiet roads, tarmac paths and trail paths. With the weather having been dry for the past few days, road shoes were the best form of transport for the occasion. Had it been wet, some of the trails might have been a little slippery (thus favouring trail shoes). Not a problem in 2017!

Organisation

As I mentioned above this is a club event organised by Wilmslow Running Club who sensibly limit the numbers participating. One comment made was that it’s a very popular event, so if you’re thinking of doing it, you need to book early, or it’ll have filled up without you!

I think there were about 400 runners yesterday which was spot on. The event was well organised and there were plenty of marshals about the course being very enthusiastic. So many thanks to all on that front, a job well done!

The club had arranged several parking areas and from what I could see, this was ample. I believe in previous years that the start/end and parking was all near one of the local pubs and a few people  were muttering that it was different this year. Some people don’t like change!

As the event started, there was a fair bit of jostling to get going as 400 people do take up a fair bit of space. That said, within about 400 metres the running was easy with the group spacing out enough. And by the time we hit the first trail (about 1 mile in) although it was pretty narrow here, we were spread out enough to not be falling over each other.

Course

The course was mostly on the level with some fast road sections. Some of the trails were very unlevel and care had to be taken on these. Possibly the only ‘killer’ part of the course is where the trail drops underneath the runway. Dropping down wasn’t the problem, it was the very short and steep hill coming out the other side. I’d been sticking with a Wilmslow runner for the first three miles but after the hill, he had more in his legs than I had. So any chance of getting past him after that totally evaporated! To be fair, I wasn’t aiming to do that, I was just pleased to be maintaining my pace.

The last mile was back on the roads. Whilst it wasn’t a closed road event, I’m not aware of any cars going past – there was a single cyclist and that was it.

Here’s the route:

Mobberley Round the Runway

My Race

I took part because this was one of the events in our own race series. It’s local, it’s a relatively short distance to what I’m used to so there’s lots to like. That said, having not raced a 5 miler in a couple of years, I wasn’t sure how to pace it. Previously I would have just run at whatever speed came to mind; the joys of taking things more seriously! Anyway, I figured 10k pace would be about right and tried to settle into that. As I mentioned above, getting started was a bit of a challenge due to the number of people but once going I got up to speed. In fact I managed to maintain a steady pace throughout, save for the up-hill which I lost time on:

  • First mile: 6m21s
  • Second mile: 6m22s
  • Third mile: 6m25s
  • Fourth mile: 6m49s
  • Final section: 6m16s (per mile rate as the total route was just short of 5 miles)

There were 9 of us running for Stockport Harriers &AC (plus one who is with Stockport Tri but trains with us). A textbook error that we didn’t manage to track down someone with a camera whilst we were all at the start line, so you’ll have to imagine what 9 people wearing yellow running vests looks like. I managed to get back with an official time of 31m33s. Which I was really chuffed with as it’s the first time I’ve set out at a 10k pace for a race and stuck to it. The full results can be found here.

Unfortunately I seemed to upset a niggle of a muscle in my back, so it’s off to the physio later today to try to keep me on track for Liverpool in 4 weeks. [verdict was piriformitis again but hopefully fixable during taper time.]

Cost

The race cost £7 to enter. That’s pretty good for an evening’s entertainment that’s well organised and well marshalled. Costs were kept down by not doing a goodie bag or anything, with just water at the end. There was however a charity cake sale at the end as well although I’m being good (or at least trying to) with what I eat with the forthcoming marathon.

Photos

Dave Marshall and Jon-Paul Kearns provided the photography for the event. Some great photos too. Many thanks, Dave & JP!

Round the Runway race

Overall

This is a great, local event and well worth getting into your calendar if you’re in the area. Book early though as it’s very popular and limited in numbers and regularly sells out well ahead of time.

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